Airbnb may be best known for turning existing homes into occasional hotels, but now it’s going a step further with a partnership around new, branded apartments.
The partner is the Miami-based Newgard Development Group, with which Airbnb will be working on a 324-unit apartment complex in Kissimmee, Florida. It will bear the name, “Niido Powered by Airbnb.”
While Airbnb rentals often provide an annoyance for neighbors, the tenants in this building should have no reason to complain — their annual leases explicitly allow them to “homeshare” their apartments in whole or part for up to 180 days a year.
Each property will have a so-called “MasterHost” who, when asked through a special Airbnb-linked app, will help with things like check-in and cleaning. Rooms will have keyless doors and secure storage, to meet the needs of guests.
However, in exchange for this permissive and even helpful attitude toward short-term rentals, tenants participating in the scheme will share the proceeds with their landlord.
“The Niido model will provide additional income to landlords and tenants while enhancing the experience for Airbnb guests,” said Newgard chief executive Harvey Hernandez. “This venture represents the first co-branded, all-inclusive partnership with Airbnb.”
Hernandez told the Financial Times that the plan was to build 2,000 units over the next couple years.
While inching Airbnb closer towards being a hotel company of sorts, the move may also be intended to carry a subtle policy message. In Florida, as elsewhere, local politicians and regulators have cracked down on Airbnb and platforms like it, because of the nuisance for neighbors and the effect on housing availability.
A development such as “Niido Powered by Airbnb” not only provides new, purpose-built residences, but it also implies that anyone living there should know what to expect.